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Shiba not interested in RAW diet anymore?
  • neil1138neil1138
    Posts: 18
    image

    Hello guys!

    Hanzo has been doing quite well over the past few months. He's happy, healthy and very active. However, his appetite for the RAW diet has diminished quite a bit over the past few weeks.

    I started Hanzo on RAW back in January and he's loved it. Since I started, Hanzo has always eaten quite a bit. I took his projected adult body weight to be around 25lbs and according to the charts, should have fed him around 10oz of food per day. However, he's always been so active that he's been able to eat nearly 16oz and not show any of it. Today though, I'm lucky to get him to eat 6-8oz in a day. At first I thought it might be because of the hot summer weather and lower activity level. Or since he's almost 9 months old and stopped growing, he didn't need as much to eat. But now I'm getting worried as it's getting harder to get him to eat raw meat at all...

    I've been feeding him a wide variety of raw meats in addition to many cooked vegetables (broccoli, sweet potatoes, spinach, etc), probiotics (yogurt, pill and kefir form) and supplements (salmon oil, and weekly wellness multivitamins). Here's a list of what I've fed over the past 5 months:

    Chicken breast/quarters/heart/liver
    Raw eggs/Shells
    Whole cornish hens
    Turkey legs/ground
    Beef roasts/heart/liver/ground
    Pork liver/kidney/hock
    Lamb breast (with bone)
    Sardines
    Pacific Saury (mackerel)
    Smelt

    I try to keep it interesting for him and mix it up every day. And although I haven't gotten exotic with the meats, he's always been happy to eat it right out of the freezer. However, for the past few weeks, he hasn't been as excited. He will leave the meat and eat it much later, or not at all. To note, he will happily eat non-raw meats such as lunch meat and raw/cooked eggs. It is only raw meats/fish, that he has lost his appetite for.

    Has this happened to anyone else? Advice?

    Thank you so much,

    Neil.
    Post edited by neil1138 at 2013-06-22 18:05:30
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    Tetsu has been like this, refusing/"burying" a meal and sometimes waiting until the next day to eat. Couldn't find any medical reason for this, so we've contributed it to a mix of him self regulated and getting bored. If he doesn't show signs of wanting to eating in 10 minutes, we put the meat away and offer again next meal time.
    image
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Both my boys who switched to raw about 2 months ago have diminished with eating. I was feeding twice a day. Both these past two weeks have been skipping meals. My Shiba who calculates for 32lbs is now eating maybe 50% a day of the average intake and my mix who calculates for 65lbs is also eating maybe 50-70% of his daily average per day, which I use 2.5% for the calculation as they get treats for training and are of average activity levels. Both though have no other issues, poos are still good, activity is still good, and our routine is the same as usual.

    I think it is just summer as that is the biggest correlation to their eating change I have seen. They get 15-20 minutes then the food is picked up and offered with new food in the next meal.

  • CrystalWolfCrystalWolf
    Posts: 235
    I don't feed raw, but grain free kibble riku is 5 months and has begin to not eat as well. This has very much worried me and was going to call the vet Monday. But it seems by what everyone is saying it is common for shibas to eat less on hot days? It has been high 80's almost to 90 degrees. Right now it's 81degrees in my house. So I shouldn't be concerned by this and it's natural behavior?
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    I feed raw and only feed once a day. I started this because they refused two meals a day. Sometimes I try to go to back to two meals a day, but they don't seem too interested in the morning meal. So we're back to one main meal, but they do get treats during the day and a morning snack of some sort (small, most of the time they don't even bother to eat it).

    They do pretty much always eat their one meal, unless someone is sick.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Saya is usually fed 5oz to 6oz a day sometimes bit more she's 22lbs though. I also fed once a day and sometimes give second meal or snack like chicken foot, egg, caned fish or something.

    Saya ate more as a puppy and at year old she started to get picky with food if I fed her same amount as young dog.

    Maybe he just needs less food now as he is done growing. Has he lost a lot of weight or is he maintaining it?

    Saya tends to not exercise much in hottest months. usually do one long walk a day and maybe small walk or training or she hangs inside or in the shade in the yard.

    What your giving looks good Saya loves smelt, pacific saury, lamb and all that.. Yesterday she got a whole pacific saury, but she only ate half of it and left other half so I just refreezes it for next week.

    If he starts loosing a lot of weight or refusing any food maybe have vet check him out.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • I have read that shibas get bored easily with things so you have to throw in new things now and then.
  • neil1138neil1138
    Posts: 18
    Thank you guys for the prompt replies!

    @redcattoo, Hanzo is pretty much the same. Still very active, poo looks good and I haven't seen any changes in behavior/demeanor. He is maintaining 26.5lbs pretty well.

    @shibamistress, I feed Hanzo twice a day: at 6am and at 5pm. I've tried feeding him once a day (in the mornings) but he's always been hungry by dinner time so I've stayed with the twice a day schedule.

    The Houston summer heat might have something to do with it. And I will try to be more vigilant in picking up the food when he doesn't show interest. I'll keep watching his eating habits and report back.

    Thanks guys
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    I also started raw about the same time and I'm in Austin. I do think this heat has something to do with curbing their appetite. I started feeding once a day about two months ago because I can give one bigger portion instead of two smaller meals. Both have days when they aren't as excited to eat, but somehow they always finish their foods. Yesterday, I gave both a full chicken quarter and they at it all. Today was just a drumstick and a the leftover of a huge rack of beef bones. They loved the beef bones (I'll post a pic of it on the raw thread). I think eating large stimulates their minds and makes eating fun and a challenge. So I am going to try to give at least one big meal a week instead of trying to give a few smaller meats to give variety at every meal. In addition to the one meal, they get a frozen treat when we come in from our morning outing. I've been giving frozen turkey hearts the last few days, so they are a couple of mouth fulls.

    I've also heard it is good for the dogs to miss a meal about once a week. I did that when my boys were eating two meals a day, but it is harder when they only get one meal. I try to stay at 1/2 lb for my boys, but am usually over.
  • If you're going to try feeding one meal a day I would suggest doing like @Shibamistress and feeding an evening meal instead of a morning meal as I, too, have found that my dog just isn't interested in eating in the morning. If left to ask for a meal, he won't ask for it in until the evening but we generally end up feeding him two meals a day, roughly a lunch and an evening meal (although right now we've got nothing going but studying for the bar, so the whole house is on a nocturnal schedule, so it's more like a midnight and 6 AM meal, lol). When he does get fed just once a day (which happens, we most just try and make sure he gets offered a full day's food everyday but we're not at all regimented about when it's given, hence why the dog can ask to be fed if he's hungry), it's always in the evening. May just be that dogs tend not to be hungry in the mornings (which I would understand, I've never been hungry in the mornings either).
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Since the heat of summer is upon us and as I noted my dogs have been skipping meals, I have gone to offering 25% of their daily meal in the morning and 75% of their daily meal in the evening. They really don't seem interested right now in the morning meal and often don't even eat the 25% offered. They also sometimes only eat part of the evening meal, but they seem not to be skipping it (yet -- we only started this now less than a week ago).

    I agree though if you only feed once a day it should be later in the afternoon or early evening as this is when it seems my dogs are more interested.

    I have also heard it is good for the dogs to fast once and awhile, I don't make it a routine though as they seem to self chose this process right now.

    I never leave the food out, they get 15-20 minutes to show me whether they are going to eat or not, if by then they are just laying staring at the food still it gets picked up until the next meal.

    I think my biggest concern with this change in recent eating habits is keeping the 80%/10%/5%/5% balance and variety of protein I want to achieve over time. I am afraid if they are too picky that the balance will throw off the nutrients they need from the variety.
    Post edited by redcattoo at 2013-06-24 13:14:21
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Re: fasting. When I was first doing raw it was recommended, and I decided to try it. One of the things it supposedly does is give them more energy.

    And it did. They were NUTS! They know when dinner time is and when they didn't get it they all went crazy, and were zooming around the house, etc, and finally I decided, just no. They don't NEED this much energy! So we do not fast, unless they choose it themselves, which they never do (crazy Bel aside, but she's in the process of slowing starving herself, so she is definately not normal in her eating habits).
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Shibamistress, I hope Bel's appetite picks up a bit.
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    Not to detract from this thread, but that is a damn good photo and one handsome Shiba!

    Edit: Want to add my experience. With Tatonka I noticed that the more variation he had, the finickier he is. These days I stick to a smaller variety of food (much larger variety than most dogs, but minus eggs and yogurt and all kinds of crazy mixtures I used to do). With a smaller variety and regular eating times (even when we are on the road) he seems to eat no problem.

    This may also be a result of him growing up. Maybe he was just pickier as a puppy.

    With raw, Tatonka knows he gets some for dinner every day. However, if he's not really that hungry (ie: he signals he's really hungry by sitting right next to me when I'm in the kitchen), then I don't bring out the raw and just have him munch on kibble.

    One other thing I noticed - this may be very specific to my dog. With raw "patties" and pre-made raw food, he just eats it immediately. When I give him chicken or fish or something with bone, I have to convince him that it's OK for him to eat it. He'll just sit in front of the bowl or a couple of feet away looking longingly at it and then at me and back - but he won't touch it until I assure him it's ok. Not really sure why this is, but I figure he's just a polite dude.
    Monkey!
    Post edited by tatonka at 2013-06-25 14:49:38
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    tatonka said:

    One other thing I noticed - this may be very specific to my dog. With raw "patties" and pre-made raw food, he just eats it immediately. When I give him chicken or fish or something with bone, I have to convince him that it's OK for him to eat it. He'll just sit in front of the bowl or a couple of feet away looking longingly at it and then at me and back - but he won't touch it until I assure him it's ok. Not really sure why this is, but I figure he's just a polite dude.

    I'm sure this is not the case for Tatonka since he is a good boy, but if Kouda did that, he would be guarding. He won't touch high value food that takes longer to eat if he is being watched.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Bella loves to eat easier to eat stuff first. haha

    Her bowl of liver, heart and turkey wing she'll eat the liver and heart first or whatever organ or boneless meat in it.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1255
    Since I have a skinny little thing who is very fussy I cater to her whims quite a lot...she's fed pre-made raw but nowadays I mix in some cooked meat too sometimes. I think cooked meat smells more and may be more appetizing. I try to vary the food and it seems to keep her more interested. I also think the weather affects them.
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    @zandrame, yep! that's exactly what it is - now that I think of his other behavior. Thank you.
    Monkey!
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    @tatonka, oh really? Hmm. But sounds like his is not bad enough to be a problem? Our mistake early on was to think Kouda just wasn't interested in the items and try to remove them. Then he would lunge at the approaching hand - no contact, but clearly not disinterested. Then the issue becomes: do you continue removing the item and fulfill his fear that it will be taken away; or give it back and validate his guarding?

    (Sorry for going off-topic!)
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    tatonka said:

    When I give him chicken or fish or something with bone, I have to convince him that it's OK for him to eat it. He'll just sit in front of the bowl or a couple of feet away looking longingly at it and then at me and back - but he won't touch it until I assure him it's ok. Not really sure why this is, but I figure he's just a polite dude.



    Not always, but sometimes it seems my boys do this too, wait for more reassurance they can go eat it. Sometimes they will stare at the bowl and then if I go touch the food they will come over and want to nibble on it if I am holding it.

    Not even close to resource guarding issues, they have absolutely no issues if I take it, go near it, or touch it. I think actually when they are done they wait until I "secure it" for them back in the refrigerator and then feel relaxed to go about playing with each other. Their only issues is with each other approaching anywhere near their food, so I always make sure they know where I am putting it and they will follow calmly until they see it being put away.
  • JScarf5JScarf5
    Posts: 202
    Not to get off topic but, youre in Houston?! Us too! We should meet for a play date!! Message me if you're interested :) Ok sorry back to your original post now....
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    And my guys almost always want the chicken first and then go for the premade raw, if they're getting it, second. oskar because he is suspicious of "new" foods (he also likes to take everything out of the bowl first and examine it), but the others, I don't know why. Since they get premade much less commonly, you think they'd go for novelty, but they don't usually, though Bel, now, as she is such bad shape, will only eat the same thing for a few days in a row then stop eating again. So I have to keep finding new things for her. Luckily, she seems to "reset" after a week or so, so I can go back to whatever she rejected earlier.
  • @shibamistress - do you think hand feeding will help? Our girl will sit and not eat but it's not because she's guarding, it's because she became accustomed when young to being hand fed her raw. It's a pain really. She'll stare at you until you pick it up and hold it for her.
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    @zandrame, now that I read your reply I'm not sure. When I serve him food I can just tell he needs some composure and space to eat it. However, I put my face in the bowl and making eating noises and he eats just fine. I've had other people do the same thing and he eats just fine. He'll also just look at me if I take away the bowl - no reaction.
    Monkey!
  • neil1138neil1138
    Posts: 18
    An update:

    Since Hanzo had completely lost his appetite for raw, I switched him cold turkey to wellness core for a while. He enjoyed it for about a whole bag but now refuses to eat the dry food. Luckily, he is once again jumping up and down for raw. I guess he realized that it is much tastier than other options!

    I will continue to monitor his eating habits.
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    @neil1138, my picky eater seems to be doing the same thing. He would get real picky with kibble, he jumped on raw, now he has lost weight because he isn't eating enough raw. Waiting him out a few meals doesn't work as he will eat one skip 2 or 3 so ends up maybe eating on average over time 1/2 or less of what he should be. Luckily he started a little heavy at 35 lbs even though it was fine on his tall frame, but now that he dropped closer to 29 lbs I am trying to figure out how to get creative to keep him eating. It is summer, he is less active, but I still don't want him too skinny or lacking valuable nutritional needs. He may never just be on one diet, like you at some point I may go back to kibble for a month or so. Haven't really decided as he has ate okay this week, but I am concerned about his weight loss.
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    I know my opinion doesn't hold too high because I'm not doing 100% raw, but with what I do with Sagan still definitely holds his interest. I do 60% kibble and 40% raw. In the mornings/early afternoons, I feed him his kibble (about ½ cup or a little more) and at night, I provide a different piece of raw, e.g. turkey neck, marrow, kidney, hearts. He will not receive the same piece of raw food he did the night before.

    The reason I still stick with kibble is because of convenience and I travel frequently. Kenneling services do not, and will not, help with raw food--I don't exactly blame them, either! Because of this, I still want Sagan to eat while I'm not around. I also recently switched to Acana from Nature's Variety, and you'd think he hasn't eaten all day (which is satisfying to see, since he was starting to not eat as much with his previous kibble).
    image
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
    Post edited by Rikka at 2013-07-21 16:47:02
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Kaji and Taisho have both gone through phases of showing little interest in eating raw. But both mine left food in the bowl when they got full with kibble so when they don't eat all their food, I am not too worried. They are self regulating as long as it isn't every day. I did notice with the hot weather, both aren't eating as much. I'm trying to get Kaji up a few pounds so I've been feeding him more skin and fatty meats. I used to take off all the fat in chicken but don't do that for him anymore and give him the skin from Sheba's meat.

    Mom says Taisho won't eat chicken at her house anymore and will only eat beef. Well, I fed him chicken the other day and he ate it all. So I wonder if a change of scenery or having company for dinner stirs up the boredom a little and gets them eating again. I noticed also with Sheba here, Kaji is eating well again. Last night I gave him a whole chicken for the first time and he ate the ends of the limbs and got tired of it. So he came inside and Sheba got to eat. She didn't eat much either. I think the whole bird is exciting for them, but a little too overwhelming in terms of not really knowing where to start. I'm giving it to them again today (and tomorrow). Now that it is 100% thawed, it should be easier. And since they didn't eat much last night, I'm sure they'll be a little more eager tonight.
  • JasonWJasonW
    Posts: 29
    Just wondering - did you guys experience a permanent drop in your shibas' appetite, or did you resolve this, or did they just go back to normal after a few days or weeks?

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